On April 12, my 6-week writing course called “Writing from the Soul – Free your authentic voice and rejoice” will begin. Tuesday nights from 7 to 9 through to May 17th. Rather than write the way you think others want you to, explore being true to your individual “writer’s voice.” Join me for a fun-filled, inspirational journey. Register at http://www.blueheronbooks.com/category/writing-classes. Hope to see you there!
Ruth Walker and I are teaching our popular “Write to Win” workshop on May 28th. It is a fun, informative, exercise-filled day to help participants increase their chances of winning writing contests. It’s also a great source of information and inspiration for writers of all genres and levels – remember that getting published is like a big contest. We’ve had many past participants who have gone on to win writing contests, acquire freelance work, etc. I encourage you to register early, before the workshop fills up. Visit http://writescape.ca and check out workshops. Hope to see you there. And Ruth and I will behave ourselves, I promise. OK, I think. Well, maybe. Oh for goodness sake, we’ll try!
I admit I’m terrible at keeping up my website and blog. Why? No explanation. It’s not that I don’t love you all, but I look at maintaining my website as “homework” – and I play hooky a lot. That means I fritter away hours playing Solitaire with people around the world when I should be paying attention here. I’m only human – don’t judge me.
OK, judge me. Suffice it to say, I’ll be back on here shortly with something or other – news, writing, inspiration, insults – who knows?
Folks, I’m going to run my ever-popular “Make Money Writing” workshop on Sunday, October 18th at Blue Heron Books in Uxbridge. Spoend an intensive few hours learning how to start and run a writing business and make a part- or full-time living from your home. Register at http://blueheronbooks.com/category/writing-classes
This column appeared in the January/February 2010 issue of “Word Weaver.”
As a freelance writer, I’ve had to develop a thick skin over the years, which accounts for my weight problem. In reality, I’m thin – but my skin weighs heavy. OK, OK – it was worth a try. I weigh what I weigh because Miss Vickie and Sarah Lee are my idols, and my idea of exercise is moving around piles of paper in my office so it looks like I’m filing.
Having said that, I stand by my guns when it comes to promoting a thick skin for writers. We all want to be adored by the reading public, but the truth is that no writer is beloved of everyone. Not even Shakespeare, which is hard to believe, because who wouldn’t love a guy who comes up with phrases like bawdy addlepated flax-wench and gleeking toad-spotted maggot-pie?
The earlier you get used to the fact that different writing voices appeal to different readerships, the better. It’s best to not take it personally – we humans are a picky and fickle bunch. And when it comes to rejection, well, that’s where the thick skin helps the most. Chances are that the rejections you receive reflect how much space the editor has in the upcoming issue and what else she/he has on the desk in the way of submissions. Timing is everything, and unless you have ESP, you just have to send out your stuff and hope for the best. I know, I know – rejection hurts. But honestly, in time you accept it as part of the game and get on with your writing life.
The fact is, rejections won’t kill you, and being asked to change your words now and then by editors is part of the writing-editing-publishing process. As I always say, love your writing but avoid falling in love with it. You know – love is blind, rose-coloured glasses and all that cliché stuff that is so true in our lives. Have faith in yourself, and when the editing requests and rejections come, do what my friend Steve Bond advises: shut up and take it like a man.